THE LATEST FUEL CELL NEWS IN JAPAN, NOVEMBER(2) 2003

Arranged by T. HOMMA
1. Policy and Activity of the National Government and Public Organization
2. Development and the Application of SOFC
3. Development of Basic Technologies for PEMFC
4. Demonstration and Commercialization of PEMFC Cogeneration System for Home Use
5. The Front of FCV
6. Technology on Hydrogen Station and the Verification Test
7. Reforming and Hydrogen Production Technology
8. Current Status on Development of DMFC and Micro FC for Mobile Apparatus
9. Development and Sales of Measurement Device for FC

1. Policy and Activity of the National Government and Public Organization
The High Pressure Gas Safety Institute of Japan organized gTechnical Research Committee on Fuel Cell Systemh ( Chairman : Professor Kobayashi, Tokyo Institute of Technology ) and started studies to verify safeties on hydrogen pressure vessel for FCV and hydrogen station. The institute intends to investigate regulations in foreign countries and conduct verification tests on hydrogen leakage and others for three years and support to make illustrative standards which will be made by industrial associations in the motor car and fuel industries.
( The Chemical Daily October 31, 2003 )
2. Development and the Application of SOFC
(1) Boeing Company
Boeing Co. in USA started to study an introduction of SOFC as an internal power source for the next generation passenger airplane 7E7. It is the reason to select a SOFC that it does not need a pure hydrogen and the power generating efficiency is high. They plan to adopt electrified air conditioning system for the 7E7, to improve the economic efficiency remarkably, which can omit the air inlet duct and others although high temperature air from engine has been used as heat for air conditioning of cabin in case of conventional design. A battery and a small generator utilizing surplus power of engine have been used as power sources in the airplane so far, they intend to improve the efficiency and flexibility in the engine design by adopting SOFC and aim at improvement of mileage as the result. The person in charge of environmental strategy of the company said that the above targets would be realized within several years after the first 7E7 will be in service in 2008.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun  October 19, 2003 )

(2) National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
The research group led by Mr. Mori, Senior Researcher, Eco-materials Research Center announced that they developed an electrolyte of SOFC which showed the high performance at low temperatures range from 500 to 700 Ž. It is the solid oxide electrolyte composed of cerium oxide. The research group confirmed the improvement of the ionic conductivity by controlling the micro-domain composed of 10 ` 50 atoms at 1 nanometer level, far smaller than existing.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun  October 20, 2003 )
3. Development of Basic Technologies for PEMFC
(1) Nagoya Institute of Technology
Associate professor Toshihiro Kasuga, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya Institute of Technology developed the electrolyte membrane for PEMFC using the technology to make hydro-gel state of phosphate glass. It indicates higher proton  conductivity than conventional solid polymer electrolyte and confirmed electric power output of 0.4 W/cm2 in their experiment. Moreover, the operating temperature range is a wide from 130 to -20Ž and it can be stuck to meet with various forms, or make a thinner or larger membrane because it is in a gel state and it can be manufactured at the cost of 1/1000 in comparison with conventional method.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun  October 24, 2003 )

(2) Ballard Power Systems Inc.
BPS made a policy to license FC technologies to other enterprises. Although they did not license in order to prevent a outflow of technology or know-how, they changed their policy to expand FC market by giving technology license to other companies who want to use the technologies and to make up development budget by the license fee.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun  October 24, 2003 )

(3) Ishifuku Metal Industry Co.,Ltd.
Ishifuku Metal Industry developed the platinum catalyst dispersed at nano level for PEMFC or DMFC. Average particle size of the catalyst is 2-3 nm in diameter and they sell the catalyst to energy related industries for research and development purposes.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun  October 27, 2003 )

(4) Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd.
Sumitomo Metal Industries announced that they developed new stainless steel plate for separator of PEMFC and could obtain the prospect for the mass production. Their Central Research InstituteiAmagasaki cityjhas proceeded with research and development since about four years ago under cooperation with Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
( Asahi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 29, 2003 )

4. Demonstration and Commercialization of PEMFC Cogeneration System for Home Use
(1) Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.
Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. decided to introduce a new contract type which discounts a gas charge for all homes who will use PEMFC from April in 2005 when they will put PEMFC unit of 1KW class for home use on market. The price down of the gas is estimated to be bigger than that by "Danran- plan" which has been applied for the contract type used for the present floor heating system by hot water at home.
( Denki Shimbun  October 23, 2003 )

(2) Toho Gas Co., Ltd.
Toho Gas Co., Ltd. announced on October 30, 2003 that they developed independently the optimal output control technology for 1KW class PEMFC cogeneration system for home use, and started the demonstration test at ordinary homes. The optimal output control has a role which make the system work the most efficiently, corresponding to various load pattern for the season in a year, the time in a day and the difference at each home. They are aiming at the commercialization in 2005.
( Denki Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun  October 31,2003 )
5. The Front of FCV
(1) Tokyo Motor Show
Motor companies exhibited each FCV with originality in The 37th Tokyo Motor Show 2003 held from October 25, 2003 at Makuhari Messe, exhibition center. Toyota Motor Corporation reserved a broad space inside the FCV, gFine-Nh by arranging electric motor and hydrogen tank under the seat and adopted gBy Wireh technology to conduct the optimum control by electrical signal, for motors each installed with four wheels, steering wheel and brake. They make it up as the future car by providing an automatic recognition system which can recognize face and seating position of driver and also an organism recognition system to be able to sense sound and having automatic control function for air conditioning. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. exhibited FCV, gKIWAMIh with Japanse decoration which is an unique in design and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. exhibited a compact FCV, gEFFISh.
( Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, Chunichi Shimbun  October 23, 2003 )

(2) YUASA Co., Ltd.
YUASA publicly opened on October 22, 2003 that they have developed DMFC cell stack for motor bicycle under cooperation with Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. Output power of the trial product is 500 W and the size is 20.8 cm in width, 26cm in depth and 13.4 cm in height.
( Denpa Shimbun October 23, 2003,  Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, The Chemical Daily  October 24, 2003 )

(3) Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan decided a policy to start lease business of FCV from the end of March 2004 in domestic market. They have been studying the lease charge in the range from 800 to 1200 thousands yen per month. The first FCV will be with stack made by UTC though they have a plan to use 3 kinds of stacks such as UTC, Ballard Power Systems, Inc. and Nissan.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 27, 2003 )

(4) CHINA FAW GROUP CORPORATION (FAW)
CEO of FAW, the largest motor company in China announced that they introduce technologies on FCV from Toyota. gEnvironmental issue is very important even in China and they have been studying how to tackle with FCV under cooperation with Toyotah, he said.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun  October 27, 2003 j
6. Technology on Hydrogen Station and the Verification Test
(1) JFEC
JFE Container Co., Ltd. (JFEC) announced on October 24, 2003 that they participated in an international project as the first Japanese company, to verify infrastructure of high pressure hydrogen supply for FCV which have been promoted by companies and governments in Canada, England, USA and Holland. This project (CH2IP) is to conduct a series of system tests and to establish the storing and transportation systems including construction of 70 MPa hydrogen gas charging station which make possible to drive 500 km by one charge. The purposes are to provide collected data to participants and to aim at international standardization on the infrastructure system.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Denki Shimbun, Nikan Kogyo Shimbun, Tekko Shimbun  October 27, 2003 )

(2) Kurita Water Industries, Ltd.
3 companies, Kurita, Shinanen Co., Ltd. and Itochu Enex Co., Ltd. announced that  they will start construction of Sagami Hydrogen Station for FCV under JHFC project. The unit is a compact transportable water electrolysis type loaded on truck and supply hydrogen to plural hydrogen stations by moving to each site. The purpose is on-site supply. The investment cost to the station in Sagamihara city is 300 million yen.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun  October 28, 2003 )

(3) Osaka Prefecture
gOsaka FCV Promotion Committeeh established in September this year by Osaka prefectural government, companies and others, took place an opening ceremony of transportable hydrogen station on October 30, 2003, by parking the station in No.1 Parking Lot of Osaka Prefectural Government in Chuo-ku, Osaka. The station has a capability to charge hydrogen into 2 FCV. This station has been fabricated by Iwatani International Corporation.
( Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, Nihhon Kogyo Shimbun  October 31, 2003 )
7. Reforming and Hydrogen Production Technology
(1) Tokyo University of Science
Professor Kudo, Tokyo University of Science developed a photo catalyst to produce hydrogen by cracking water with irradiation of ultraviolet. The catalyst is particles made of sodium and titanium oxide added lanthanum and the particles are 100 nm to 3ƒÊm in diameter and their contact surface with water are increased by making the shape of complicated stepped configuration. Hydrogen of 500mL/h could be produced from water by irradiation of ultraviolet using 400W mercury lamp.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun  Oct.20, 2003 )

(2) National Institute for Environment Studies
National Institute for Environment Studies will start the development of hydrogen production technology with biomass and ocean wind power generation. On ghydrogen production technology development from bio resources and wasteh, they will develop the technology to produce hydrogen efficiently by pyrolysis and microbe, utilizing raw materials such as waste wood, used paper, waste plastics, and will study establishment of a self-sufficient locally distributed energy system. Although  the hydrogen production technology is electrolysis of sea water using electricity generated by wind power in case of ghydrogen production technology development with ocean wind power generationh, the development of large floating structure is included, on which wind power generator is installed. The budgets, \6 billion in 2003 and \13 billion in 2004 have been requested.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun  October 30, 2003 )

(3) F.C.C Co., Ltd.
F.C.C Co., LTD. announced that they started research of gporous fiber catalyst seath which is seat state catalyst to reform methanol taken out of waste into hydrogen, under cooperation with Assistant Professor Kitaoka, Kyushu University. They plan to complete a proto type hydrogen production unit with the seat catalyst by August in 2006.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun  October 30, 2003 )

(4) MITUBISHI KAKOKI KAISHA, LTD.
MITUBISHI KAKOKI KAISHA, LTD. will expand the business activity on hydrogen production facilities, especially will arrange the organization for sales promotion aimed at hydrogen station. They received orders of the units for hydrogen stations in Asahi-ku, Yokohama and Senju, Tokyo, built in a link of JHFC project.
( The Chemical Daily  October 31, 2003 )

(5) UCHIYA THERMOSTAT Co., Ltd.
UCHIYA THERMOSTAT Co., Ltd. developed hydrogen production unit for FC loaded on vehicle, to generate hydrogen by adding water to 20nm sized iron and platinum catalyst powder, under cooperation with Professor Otsuka, Tokyo Institute of Technology. They fabricated a proto type unit for motor scooter, which weight is 2 kg.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun  October 31, 2003 )
8. Current Status on Development of DMFC and Micro FC for Mobile Apparatus
(1) JEMA
In order to standardize regulations on micro FC for note type personal computer and mobile phone, the electrical manufacturers such as Hitachi, Ltd., Toshiba Corporation and NEC Corporation, organize gMicro FC Standardization Committeeh  in The Japan Electrical Manufacturesf Association (JEMA) in mid October, and the committee will make standards within 3 years. 16 companies including leading electrical manufactures and 6 related industrial associations participate to the committee and promote the popularization of FC for personal computer and mobile apparatus, by establishing standards for connecting method of methanol fuel cartridge and for basic performance such as the output and fuel consumption of FC, as well as the testing methods for them.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun  October 20, 2003 )

(2) National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
AIST announced on October 22, 2003 that they developed the technology to utilize a porous glass for electrolyte of DMFC to be used for mobile apparatus. Comparing with existing fluorine electrolyte membrane, power generating efficiency can be increased and high density methanol can be used. The porous glass has innumerable nm size holes and hydrogen ion only can permeate. They reported that the maximum output is increased to about 1.5 times at the same conditions, in comparison with conventional fluorine membrane.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun  October 23, 2003,  The Chemical Daily October 24, 2003 )

Special Division for Green Life Technology, AIST confirmed the cell voltage of 0.35 V at power generating test of DMFC utilizing porous glass electrolyte membrane. This electrolyte membrane has fine holes of 4 nm in mean diameter, filled with conductive organic molecules and it is 0.5 nm in thickness and MEA structure arranged electrodes on the both side, the one with platinum ruthenium catalyst (anode) and the other with platinum catalyst (cathode). Charging 64 weight % methanol solution and oxygen, 0.35 V was observed at current density of 10mA/cm2.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun  October 27, 2003 )

(3) Tokyo Institute of Technology
Research team of Professor Hatsuzawa and Assistant Hayase, Tokyo Institute of Technology, developed the technology to make electrode plate of DMFC for mobile apparatus, from silicon wafer of 100 ƒÊm thickness. As the semiconductor machining technology can be diverted to, the efficient production is feasible and the fuel path can be made by etching the surface.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun  October 28, 2003 )
9. Development and Sales of Measurement Device for FC
FIS Inc. (Itami City) developed a gas sensor for FC and will start full delivery soon. These are hydrogen leakage detector and methane sensor for reformed gas, and the features are high selectivity and can use for high concentrated gas. The hydrogen sensor has detection range for hydrogen concentration from 0.1 % to 2.0 %. Already the sensor itself has been delivering to North America and the module assembled with power circuit and data processing circuit, making the sensor as a core, will be supplied in the near future and the price reduction is planed to 500 yen/piece.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun  October 27, 2003 )

-This edition is made up as of October, 2003.-